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This stuff is half the price of HEET and burns the same in my alky stove...

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This stuff is half the price of HEET and burns the same in my alky stove...

Old 04-08-13, 06:16 PM
  #51  
Niles H.
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Twelve gallons per year, average, over twenty years: 240 gallons. At 500 dollars savings per ten gallons, that's 12,000 dollars.

You could buy a Primus, and have a just a wee bit left over after twenty years. Like about a hundred and nineteen 100-dollar bills.

Add in another decade, and it's up to 18,000 dollars. And about a hundred and seventy-nine 100-dollar bills in your pocket.

Could be more, could be less, depending on where you are buying the alcohol or alcohols -- in any case, it is quite a bit in the long run.

Last edited by Niles H.; 04-08-13 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 04-08-13, 06:24 PM
  #52  
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Wow, that's a lot of touring. Sounds like great fun.
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Old 04-08-13, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
Then it is you who doesn't do much travelling.

I often go through about a gallon per month.

And over the course of years, it adds up.

Over the course of decades, it adds up even more.
Then you need to learn how to travel more effeciently. A gallon of fuel a month is ridiculious.

Let me post some numbers against that.
One gallon 128 ounces. Thats 4.266 ounces every day for thirty days.1 ounce of alcohol will boil 2 cups of water
Thats 8.5 cups of boiled water per day using alcohol as a fuel or 76.8 minutes of burn time each and every day.


1 ounce of white gas boils 1.5 liters of water
Thats 6.4 liters of boiled water per day using white gas as a fuel or 30 minutes of burn time each and every day.

You don't need a more effecient stove - you need to change what you're doing.




Last edited by Burton; 04-08-13 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 04-08-13, 07:31 PM
  #54  
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A gallon/mo? I could maybe use a half gallon if I was traveling full time. But when I'm on the road I typically buy the first appropriate sized bottle of Heet or denatured since I'm not interested in running around town price checking to save 50c. If I'm traveling from home then I just buy a gallon of denatured so it's available and I don't have to make several trips to the store and consume numerous small bottles.
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Old 04-08-13, 07:43 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
Then you need to learn how to travel more effeciently. A gallon of fuel a month is ridiculious.

Let me post some numbers against that.
One gallon 128 ounces. Thats 4.266 ounces every day for thirty days.1 ounce of alcohol will boil 2 cups of water
Thats 8.5 cups of boiled water per day using alcohol as a fuel or 76.8 minutes of burn time each and every day.


1 ounce of white gas boils 1.5 liters of water
Thats 6.4 liters of boiled water per day using white gas as a fuel or 30 minutes of burn time each and every day.

You don't need a more effecient stove - you need to change what you're doing.



Try melting snow, and see how far it goes.

And how about drinking water, and heating water for other purposes. Many people prefer warm water for bathing, shampooing, and other uses.

What about multiple-course meals?

What about cooking that goes beyond mere boiling, which is the basis of the low figures you are using.

And your burn times for the white gas are also inaccurate.



****

[Burton, I really don't have the time for or the interest in these sorts of arguments, which are basically meaningless. The simple and main fact -- and the primary point -- and the original point -- and the point that is intended to be potentially helpful to the OP and others -- is that quite a bit of money can be saved in the long run.]
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Old 04-08-13, 07:48 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by KirkBeiser View Post
I could maybe use a half gallon if I was traveling full time....
People vary in their usage patterns. If someone uses half as much, he or she saves about half as much....
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Old 04-08-13, 07:52 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
Then you need to learn how to travel more effeciently. A gallon of fuel a month is ridiculious.

Let me post some numbers against that.
One gallon 128 ounces. Thats 4.266 ounces every day for thirty days.1 ounce of alcohol will boil 2 cups of water
Thats 8.5 cups of boiled water per day using alcohol as a fuel or 76.8 minutes of burn time each and every day.


1 ounce of white gas boils 1.5 liters of water
Thats 6.4 liters of boiled water per day using white gas as a fuel or 30 minutes of burn time each and every day.

You don't need a more effecient stove - you need to change what you're doing.






Sounds right to me. simple enough. And anyone boiling water to purify needs lessons.
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Old 04-08-13, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I have a hard time getting too excited about 10 gallons of alcohol costing $120. I think that works out to about 20 cents per day on tour given my typical usage. It is little enough that I don't even consider the cost in the choice between fuel types.
Ding, ding, ding, right answer.
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Old 04-08-13, 07:54 PM
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Niles I think you are purposely inflating your numbers to benefit your argument. I doubt you are traveling 30 days/mo and 12 mo/yr. Especially in areas when you need to melt snow. If you need drinking water then it's better and cheaper to filter it instead of boiling it. Additionally during my time backpacking I have very rarely seen anyone boil water to even wash their face much less bathe.

In addition to that if you really are using that much fuel then you should switch your fuel source. It's pretty well known that alcohol doesn't produce as much heat as petrol. The big benefit of alcohol is that you can pack really light for shorter trips. A pop can stove weighs 1 oz and 10 oz of fuel lasts me 4-5 days.
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Old 04-08-13, 08:10 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
Try melting snow, and see how far it goes.

And how about drinking water, and heating water for other purposes. Many people prefer warm water for bathing, shampooing, and other uses.

What about multiple-course meals?

What about cooking that goes beyond mere boiling, which is the basis of the low figures you are using.

And your burn times for the white gas are also inaccurate.



****

[Burton, I really don't have the time for or the interest in these sorts of arguments, which are basically meaningless. The simple and main fact -- and the primary point -- and the original point -- and the point that is intended to be potentially helpful to the OP and others -- is that quite a bit of money can be saved in the long run.]
Your assumption is that your advice is actually helpful.

I'm all for saving money. I just think you have some grandiose notion that you're the only person thats ever travelled and that you're the only person who knows what they're doing. You need to grow up.
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Old 04-08-13, 09:54 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by KirkBeiser View Post
... Additionally during my time backpacking I have very rarely seen anyone boil water to even wash their face much less bathe.
...
...
After a hot day, I've ended up coated with a greasy mixture of sunscreen, dried sweat, and road grime. If there's not any water source that's not icy cold, I've often heated up a quart of water (not to boiling) and used a couple of water bottles to take an effective hot shower. It feels great to get that gunk off and out of my hair.
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Old 04-08-13, 10:36 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
Your assumption is that your advice is actually helpful.

I'm all for saving money. I just think you have some grandiose notion that you're the only person thats ever travelled and that you're the only person who knows what they're doing. You need to grow up.
Complete bs burton.
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Old 04-08-13, 10:58 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by KirkBeiser View Post
Niles I think you are purposely inflating your numbers to benefit your argument. I doubt you are traveling 30 days/mo and 12 mo/yr. Especially in areas when you need to melt snow. If you need drinking water then it's better and cheaper to filter it instead of boiling it. Additionally during my time backpacking I have very rarely seen anyone boil water to even wash their face much less bathe.

In addition to that if you really are using that much fuel then you should switch your fuel source. It's pretty well known that alcohol doesn't produce as much heat as petrol. The big benefit of alcohol is that you can pack really light for shorter trips. A pop can stove weighs 1 oz and 10 oz of fuel lasts me 4-5 days.
To my good friend and ally:

* I'm on an eternal voyage, 24/7, 365/365

* Snow melting isn't so uncommon in some areas

* Boiling is actually considerably more effective than most filters

* Backpackers and bike tourists sometimes differ in their ways. Some of each warm their water to bathe, shampoo, and wash up, though. See www.downtheroad.org for additional examples.

* Heinz Stucke has been out there for about five decades and counting. We all use a lot of fuel over time.

* It is semi well known that gas can save money, but the potential longterm savings are very rarely explored and specified, in dollars and in detail.
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Old 04-08-13, 11:07 PM
  #64  
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I don't get too excited about it either. I just save the money, over and over.

Originally Posted by gregw View Post
Ding, ding, ding, right answer.
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Old 04-08-13, 11:18 PM
  #65  
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Niles, it really does seem that you are arguing just for the sake of arguing.
You do realize that if you are using a campstove as much as you say, you are in an extremely small minority vis-a-vis your fuel usage. The vast majority of us use our campstoves for a few days, a week, a few weeks, a month or whatever.
As others have said, the cost of fuel is just not an issue.
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Old 04-08-13, 11:33 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
To my good friend and ally:

* I'm on an eternal voyage, 24/7, 365/365

* Snow melting isn't so uncommon in some areas

* Boiling is actually considerably more effective than most filters

* Backpackers and bike tourists sometimes differ in their ways. Some of each warm their water to bathe, shampoo, and wash up, though. See www.downtheroad.org for additional examples.

* Heinz Stucke has been out there for about five decades and counting. We all use a lot of fuel over time.

* It is semi well known that gas can save money, but the potential longterm savings are very rarely explored and specified, in dollars and in detail.
Basically you are arguing for the sake of arguing at this piont. I highly doubt that you are using a gallon/mo every month for 20 years. If you are then I have already suggested that you consider petrol if saving money is your primary concern.
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Old 04-08-13, 11:50 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by stevepusser View Post
After a hot day, I've ended up coated with a greasy mixture of sunscreen, dried sweat, and road grime. If there's not any water source that's not icy cold, I've often heated up a quart of water (not to boiling) and used a couple of water bottles to take an effective hot shower. It feels great to get that gunk off and out of my hair.
It does feel great. It helps me to sleep better.

The numbers I gave were meant only as examples. Some people are getting hung up on them. The central point is simply that there is the potential to save substantial money that might be useful elsewhere. And have a better stove and better cooking abilities and experiences at the same time.

The Gravity II MF looks very good. Primus has corrected the previous version's flaws.

There is a new (stll unrated, Colorado, with storefront) seller at amazon.com offering them for 88-89.00 (plus five-six dollars shipping).

Longer term perpectives on finances can be revealing and useful at times.

[The new ultralight gasoline stove is already generating apoplectic reactions among the SCS/nanny contingent. Solo test pilot at this point. There are ways of lightening existing stoves though. But the lightest ones are not bad as they are -- depending on how much and whether you mind the trade-offs, and on the length and nature of the trip, and the priorities. Many people like and carry them just as they are.]
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Old 04-09-13, 12:02 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by KirkBeiser View Post
Basically you are arguing for the sake of arguing at this piont. I highly doubt that you are using a gallon/mo every month for 20 years. If you are then I have already suggested that you consider petrol if saving money is your primary concern.
No, that's not what I'm doing at all. Speak for yourself.

You're getting hung up on the examples and side issues, which are just that. The main point remains the same.

Doubt away. You're wrong. But it really doesn't matter anyway -- it is beside the point, which is the potential to save substantial amounts of money that might be useful for other applications.
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Old 04-09-13, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
The vast majority of us use our campstoves for a few days, a week, a few weeks, a month or whatever.
Yes, there is quite a range and it depends on the person. I tried to point this out earlier, and the numbers and examples are just that. Obviously each person can take his or her own situation and expected use into account.
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Old 04-09-13, 12:31 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
No, that's not what I'm doing at all. Speak for yourself.

You're getting hung up on the examples and side issues, which are just that. The main point remains the same.

Doubt away. You're wrong. But it really doesn't matter anyway -- it is beside the point, which is the potential to save substantial amounts of money that might be useful for other applications.
the only way it is a substantial amount is if you show the numbers as everyday of the year for 20 years. There is virtually nobody on this board that is doing a 20 yr trip. For most people it is an entirely insignificant amount of money. A gallon/mo ended being like 40c/day total cost (not savings) and that's only for heavy stove users. that's a pretty insignificant part of a $15-50/day budget that seems typical of bike tourers.
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Old 04-09-13, 01:08 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by KirkBeiser View Post
the only way it is a substantial amount is if you show the numbers as everyday of the year for 20 years....
It depends (in large part at least) on cumulative use. Twenty years is only one possible example among many others.

People vary in their cumulative use over the decades, and over a lifetime. Some end up using these stoves less, some more.

It could make economic sense in much less time than twenty years of straight use.

Each person can take the relevant aspects into account and go with what makes the most sense for the overall best choice.

Other factors in addition to the economics may enter into the decision, and often do.

Someone may order the Primus mentioned above, for example, for a combination of reasons including efficiency, aesthetics, cooking experience, quality, longterm economics, and others.

Longterm perspectives can be helpful but are often overlooked.
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Old 04-09-13, 04:27 AM
  #72  
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I don't know what is typical, some may use a lot more and some a little less, but I suspect my fuel usage is not all that far from typical.

To put that into perspective...

Melting snow for water on a bike tour would be way out of the range of normal for me. Backpacking yes, bike tour no. If melting snow I am using enough fuel that I probably with not be using an alcohol stove, but weight would be the primary reason.

Boiling water to purify it is something I have never done on tour and expect I never will. I doubt I will ever do it again when backpacking either. I have a nice Sawyer Squeeze filter and use that. If I was somewhere that the filter wasn't sufficient I would probably chemically treat, but since I tour in the US I have never felt the need. The filter weighs less than the fuel to boil a gallon of water and over it's life costs a lot less, but the cost isn't a significant factor in that particular choice for me.

I tour less than some, but probably more than most. Since 2007, I have done some longish tours including the Trans America, and a bunch of other multi-week or longer tours. Most often I only cook once a day and it is usually simple cooking, but not just boiling water. I sometimes cook over a fire, sometimes eat cold food, and often eat one restaurant meal per day. If not near hot running water, I typically wash sparingly and with cold water including body, clothing, and dishes. I have not kept track, but my sense of my fuel usage is that on bike tours I probably have not used much more than a gallon of fuel total over a 7 year period.

So for me, other factors in the choice far outweigh fuel cost. Weight and convenience are the bigger factors for me. That means that if my trip (bike or backpack) allows fairly frequent replenishing of fuel I will use alcohol, and if not I will use something more energy dense. For me the something more energy dense has usually been a canister stove. In some situations I would consider gasoline, but I dislike the odor and the hassle of filling small containers from a gas pump.

I can see where someone would have a different usage pattern or different preferences though. I just doubt that very many folks use enough fuel and are on a tight enough budget that fuel cost is one of the larger factors in the decision. I don't doubt that might be the case for some, I just think that would be a pretty small minority, and smaller yet if you didn't count homeless guys or gals on a bike. That latter category would probably be the most likely to find fuel cost a factor, but most of the ones in that category that I have met use a campfire whenever possible.
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Old 04-09-13, 04:45 AM
  #73  
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as this thread chases minutia,

i've had to melt snow for water on a few bike tours. This trip

and this trip and this one.

melted snow innumerable times for drinking water while winter camping, mountaineering, etc. been winter camping since the 1980's.

tip some of you know: don't melt snow on alcohol. bring a petrol stove if you intend to melt snow for water.

on the trip in the last pic, i think lack of fuel and declining food supplies after 4 days sent me packing on that one- fires prohibited.
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Old 04-11-13, 01:39 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I wonder about that. It would definitely have more burnt smell that just about any other type stove, wouldn't it? I don't know if that might be a problem or not. Does anyone with experience with flying with wood burning stoves care to comment? It is expensive enough that it would be a real shame if it were confiscated.
It actyally burns really clean and if you let it burn itself out with the fan on there is barely any smoke-smelling residue. The fan makes the wood burning really clean and nearly (not entirely) soot free. It smells WAY less than your shirt does after sitting next to a campfire for a few hours.
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Old 04-11-13, 01:51 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Not quite; the Bio-lite weighs over two pounds. I'd never carry a quart of fuel, but even if I did I think a quart of alcohol weighs 25 ounces plus 2 ounces for the bottle. A pop can stove, pot stand, and wind screen come in at two ounces. So 29 ounces total vs 33 ounces for the Biolite. That is at least close, but...

Since I'd never carry more than 16 ounces of alcohol. By the time I would consider carrying a quart of alcohol, I'd have switched to either a canister stove or maybe a white gas stove. With 16 ounces of fuel, the alcohol stove actually still comes in at about a pound less and the Bio-lite when carrying my maximum amount of fuel. Granted you might also save the weight of a charger, but that is only two ounces or less in my case.



I can see where a wood burning stove might really come into it's own in that usage. I would imagine that it probably doesn't meet the charging needs of a large group though.

I have built and toyed with a home made wood burning stove that weighed a bit less than half of what the Bio-lite weighs, but have never actually taken it touring or backpacking. I wonder how much better the Bio-lite works as compared to my home made one, which I find to be a bit more bother than I have thus far been willing to put up with. I considered taking it on my JMT backpacking trip this summer, but decided that I would be above treeline where wood burning stoves are not allowed to be used.
The Biolite is on the heavy side, but it is really solid and well made compared to a home made version and the combustion quality is top notch once it is warmed up. I have never had trouble finding enough dry wood to cook with (literally a large handful is kindling enough to make dinner with). A portable charger is light no doubt, but is no help in the woods when you need someplace to plug it in! It is best suited to longer trips or larger groups though; if you are going to cook just a couple of meals for 1 or 2 people there are lighter and more convenient options. Biolite also needs to have some sticks added every 5 - 7 minutes though and they are fickle to do fine modulation of heat output. A great solution though for larger groups, longer remote trips or cooking that is primarily boiling water. It can have tremendous heat output if you load it up! It is not the best solution for every situation, but a great solution for some situations...
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